Melbourne Opera prides itself on its commitment to producing high quality, accessible performances for the benefit of audiences and performers.
With an ensemble of dedicated performers and administrators, we aim to provide opera of the highest standard to audiences of all ages and backgrounds at affordable prices.
Donizetti’s 1835 opera, Maria Stuarda, is no Wolf Hall. Unlike the Booker-winning blockbuster, it puts the dynastic and doctrinal conflicts between Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth 1 safely into the background and introduces a fictional love triangle as a more politically acceptable focus for their conflict.
Once upon a time Gaetano Donizetti’s Mary Stuart (Maria Stuarda) was banned. In 1835, the blistering confrontation between Elizabeth I and Mary Stuart was considered too appalling to be allowed and Milan deemed it unsuitable for public consumption. Perhaps that’s why this English translation is so much fun today.
At the moment Melbourne has an embarrassment of operatic riches. Thirty years ago we had the Australian Opera, Victorian State Opera and an occasional amateur performance. Now we still have Opera Australia, Victorian Opera, which emerged from the ashes of the VSO, and several semi-professional companies providing lots of work and doing exciting productions.
Melbourne Opera, based at the Athenaeum Theatre, broke away from CitiOpera and, as a point of difference, perform exclusively in English. Many roles were shared in early productions with varying degrees of success.
It's a rare occasion that we get to roll out the red carpet for a royal visit to the Music Makers studio. Not one, but two Queens join us this week: Mary Queen of Scots and Queen Elisabeth I, the central characters in Donizetti's bel canto tragedy Maria Stuarda (Mary Stuart).
Amongst the seventy works composed by Gaetano Donizetti (1797–1848), only three, The Elixir of Love, Don Pasquale, and Lucia Di Lammermoor were regularly performed in the first half of the twentieth century, and the most popular of these, Lucia, was often presented in truncated form.